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Tips: holiday travel with a small animal

Wednesday December 22nd, 2010

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This article courtesy of PetMD.com.

Getting away from it all (aka a vacation) is great. So much so, we often want to travel with all our family, including our pets. Here are five tips to ensure your pet's safe and comfortable during its trip (hopefully somewhere tropical!).

1. If you’re driving, make sure you buckle the pet carrier securely into the backseat of the car. Don’t let animals, especially cats, roam around a car freely -- that’s just an accident waiting to happen.

2. With small pets, make sure they’re secure during transport. This means keeping them away from the windows and locking the doors. We wouldn't want Fido or Kitty to accidentally hurt itself trying to jump out of a moving car. Safety is important at your final destination, too. Whether it be a cottage, condo, or beach house, you don't your pet running amok indoors. This should be a vacation for your pet, not an obstacle course.

3. If you're "lucky" enough to own a cat, you know most felines aren’t really into the traveling thing. They like their own territory and tend to want to stay and lord it over, even if no one’s home. So, if you want to take your cat with you, make sure you have a snug carry case (cats love small spaces, they make kitties feel safe). Bring along favorite toys and blankets so your kitty will always have a familiar smelling place to go to. In fact, this goes for any pet, especially little dogs with nervous temperaments.

4. Whether cat, dog or hamster, make sure you choose a solid carry case for transport. Those fancy soft ones might be all the rage on the Paris runways this season, but they’re not overly practical if you have to put your pet into the back seat of the car, on a train or a plane. The plastic carriers offer more protection than the material ones.

5. Bring sufficient pet food. You may not be able to find your pet’s favorite yummies where you’re going, so stock up and don't let him or her go hungry. Pretzels and potato chips are not a good food substitute.

So there you have it. With these helpful pointers, you'll be sipping on piña coladas by the beach or slaloming down the powder-white mountainside in no time. Best of all, your furry friends will be happy, too. Enjoy!

This article originally appeared on PetMD.com.

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